Australia-based poultry firm Inghams Group said today (22 August) full-year profit beat its forecast, aided by an increase in volumes and a drop in feed prices.

Net income climbed 23% to AUD102m (US$81m) in the 12 months ended June from a year earlier, above the AUD98.8m predicted. That was based on a 3.3% rise in revenue to AUD2.4bn, AUD8.9m higher than targeted. EBITDA increased 16% to AUD195m.

While Inghams said full-year Australian poultry growth was strong, volumes were flat in New Zealand in the first half before picking up in the final six months as the “market dynamic improved”. 

Profit improvement was delivered in Australia despite what the company said were challenges created by “strong volume growth in the integrated supply chain”. Revenue came in at AUD2.02bn, a 3.4% increase over the corresponding period and more than the expected AUD2bn. EBITDA was up 20% at AUD159m. 

In New Zealand, Inghams said it saw strong free-range sales via its Waitoa brand and a continued improvement in operational performance. The company booked sales of AUD361m in that market, short of the targeted AUD372m but 2.2% higher than a year earlier. EBITDA came in at AUD36m versus AUD35.3m in 2016. 

The company said in May it would invest more than AUD70m to expand its operations in the state of Western Australia, including building a new hatchery and feed mill. At the same time, it planned to relocate its existing facilities in the Perth suburb of Wanneroo and construct a new feed mill 20 miles away in Muchea by 2020.  

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